Title: The Grownup
Author: Gillian Flynn
Started: 27th February 2016
Completed: 27th February 2016
Summary: A young woman is making a living faking it as a cut-price psychic (with some illegal soft-core sex work on the side). She makes a decent wage mostly by telling people what they want to hear. But then she meets Susan Burke.
Susan moved to the city one year ago with her husband and 15-year-old stepson Miles. They live in a Victorian house called Carterhook Manor. Susan has become convinced that some malevolent spirit is inhabiting their home. The young woman doesn’t believe in exorcism or the supernatural. However when she enters the house for the first time, she begins to feel it too, as if the very house is watching her, waiting, biding its time . . . – Amazon
The Grownup was originally published as ‘What Do You Do?’ in George R. R. Martin’s Rogues anthology. It’s Gillian Flynn’s 4th book but it’s a short story instead of a novel.
It’s the second of Flynn’s books that I’ve read, the first being Gone Girl, and her other two books are on my TBR (and on my bookshelves). I picked up this book because it was very cheap and I needed a quick read because I was reading very heavy Gothic novels at the same time as I read this. It only took me about an hour to read because it’s less than 100 pages long.
Okay, on to the actual review. It’s going to be short and sharp, like the book itself.
One thing I love about this book is the writing style. Flynn’s style is very sharp and quick-witted which is fantastic for a short story. Flynn packed a lot of plot and characterisation into this very short story and that’s down to her excellent writing style.
I enjoyed the plot. It had a lot of potential and I loved most of it. The plot is basically was it says in the blurb with a few of Gillian Flynn’s trademark twists and turns. Since the book is so short though it can leave you feeling a little confused. So much happens in such a short amount of writing.
One little quirk that I really enjoyed was the fact that the main character is nameless. I guess it goes with her jobs which are both about anonymity and fantasy. It’s just a really nice touch.
I’ve already mentioned that at times the plot becomes confusing because there’s so much happening and that’s one reason I only gave this book 3 stars. I was left bewildered but not in a good way. I guess I could read it again to make it clearer but I have no desire to. I don’t know. There’s just too many plot twists for me.
The other reason I gave this book 3 stars is because I was left disappointed by this book. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected to. I hate being let down by books. My rating is probably a little bit harsh but it’s because I had expectations of being wowed. On the Amazon description it says that this book “proves once again that Gillian Flynn is one of the world’s most original and skilled voices in fiction” and I just didn’t feel like that.
Overall, it’s a good book. Not great but good. Average. I did enjoy parts of it but not all of it.
Would I recommend it? Probably. Mainly because it is so short that if you don’t enjoy it then you haven’t wasted too much time on it.
If you’ve read this book then please let me know what you think about it (or link me to your reviews!). I’d love to know what everyone else feels about this short story.